New Whistleblower Statutes Expand OSHA’s Investigative Powers
Two new statutes expand OSHA’s ability to investigate retaliation taken against workers who file whistleblower complaints.
The Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act and the Anti-Money Laundering Act enable OSHA to investigate complaints by individual whistleblowers who face reprisals for reporting violations of antitrust or anti-money laundering laws to their superiors or the federal government.
OSHA said it will investigate retaliation complaints for reporting money laundering-related violations or criminal antitrust violations to their superior or the federal government, or for showing cause, testifying or participating in, or otherwise assisting an investigation or proceeding related to a violation of anti-money laundering laws or antitrust laws.
Both acts call for monetary relief and compensatory damages to whistleblowers against whom retaliation is proven.
The agency said that until it issues final interim rules, it will process whistleblower complaints related to these statutes under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century.
With the addition of the two new statutes, OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program now enforces the whistleblower provisions of more than 20 statutes.
These laws protect employees from retaliation for reporting violations pertaining to safety and health, airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health insurance reform, motor vehicle safety, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, securities, tax, antitrust, and anti-money laundering, and for engaging in other related protected activities.
OSHA received over 3,400 whistleblower complaints in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2020, a significant increase it attributed in part to the coronavirus pandemic.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Phillip Montgomery (860.244.1982).
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